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The Queer Issue III

June 2012

This month we present our third issue of queer literature from around the world. The writers we’ve selected stake new claims on familiar themes, and unearth insight in unaccustomed places, illuminating the global LGBT experience through their work. Uruguay’s Cristina Peri Rossi lets us in on a psychologist’s thoughts on love and fading youth, while Alonso Sanchez Baute’s narrator is sideswiped by the news of Gianni Versace’s death. Cuban writer Mabel Cuesta combines memories of early love and new traditions, while Dominican poet Frank Baez follows the Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo to New York City. Bangladesh’s Shaheen Akhtar provides a charm against dreams of snakes. South Korea’s Kim Bi shows us a young girl struggling with the world’s response to her father. Israel’s Ilana Zeffren confides in a household friend about her partner, Algerian poet Jean Sénac explores the intersection of love and country, and Salvador Novo gives us a glimpse into the untold lives of gay writers and artists in post-Revolutionary Mexico. 

The Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo
By Frank Baez
I go to the four cardinal points looking for myselfin a procession with all the women I’ve been
Translated from Spanish by Hoyt Rogers
Ne Me Quitte Pas
By Cristina Peri Rossi
Seventeen years old: a terrible age for studying. A terrible age for anything other than fornicating.
Translated from Spanish by Megan Berkobien
By Alonso Sanchez Baute
If a queen cries an entire sea, she has to cry the Mediterranean or, at least, the Aegean
Translated from Spanish by George Henson
This is How it is When You’re Involved with Sensitive Girls
By Ilana Zeffren
Translated by Ilana Zeffren
from “Edgard’s Lessons”
By Jean Sénac
If singing my love is loving my country, I am a soldier
Translated from French by Douglas Basford
Tree of Kisses
By Kim Bi
She wished she were blind so she couldn’t see the man mincing around, mimicking her father in a skirt.
Translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell & Eunjung Kwon-Lee
Snakes, Husbands, Ashalota, and Us
By Shaheen Akhtar
The rest of the night we refold our spread-open bodies dreaming snake-dreams.
Translated from Bengali by Shabnam Nadiya
The Christmas Tree
By Mabel Cuesta
We’re in a strange land and Christmas is nearing.
Translated from Spanish by Erica Mena
From “Pillar of Salt”
By Salvador Novo
In that room I met practically the entire fauna of the epoch.
Translated from Spanish by Marguerite Feitlowitz
I Think, in These Hours, of You, My Love
By Salvador Novo
I feel the promises impressed by your lips.I repeat the ringing syllables of your name
Translated from Spanish by Marguerite Feitlowitz